Putting Your Dog at Ease
Does the sound of thunder or fireworks send your dog into hiding? Do you dread the first Wednesday of the month because the sirens wail – and so does your dog? While many dogs howl along with sirens, others end up in a panic.
Noise phobia is a common problem in dogs that can vary in severity. For some dogs, they become wide-eyed or shake a bit, but for others, they can become so panicked, they jump through glass windows to escape the sound.
Dogs can develop noise phobias for numerous reasons, ranging from genetics to negative experiences. Fortunately, there are ways to help reduce their symptoms and keep them as comfortable as possible with a little planning.
Talk to Your Vet
Your first stop should involve a conversation with your vet. This is especially important if your dog has extreme noise phobias that lead to anxious behaviors or those that put their health or safety at risk. They can offer personalized recommendations based on your pet’s needs that could include medications, supplements, or behavior modification.
Create a Calming Environment
One of the easiest things you can do for a dog with noise phobia involves creating a safe space for them to hide. This could be a blanket-covered crate or a cozy bed in the corner of the bathroom. You can even try adding pheromone sprays, diffusers, or collars to increase the calm.
Mask the Sounds
If you know noise scares your dog, try changing their soundtrack. Turn on the television, radio, or even Spotify’s “Music for Dog’s” channel. We’re also big fans of Relax My Dog and use their free app all the time – they have calming tunes for every stressful situation.
Did you know that many dogs feel more secure when they have constant, gentle pressure around a dog’s chest and torso can provide security? Try a Thundershirt or make your own pressure wrap out of a scarf.
Remember, like any fear, be patient if your dog has a noise phobia. Unlike a human, you can’t “explain away” these reactions by saying, “It’s okay, it was just….” Instead, you have to create a strategy to help them cope and stay as comfortable as possible.